Five of the best things on board a QM2 cruise

2013-12-03 12:56
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

State Rooms of Cunard's Queen Mary 2

Take a visual tour of the one the World's last Transatlantic Ocean Liners, Cunard's Queen Mary 2.

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The Queen Mary is visiting Cape Town on her 2014 World Voyage - the 10-year anniversary cruise for Cunard's flag ship.

She will spend two days in port - the fifth by the Cunard Line flagship since it was launched in 2004 - which is said to generate a 200-milllion for the economy at a time.

So, if ever you've wanted to savour the golden age of cruising this would be the ship for you - Here are five things we think you'll love about the prestigious ... Queen Mary 2

1. Visiting exotic ports across the globe 

Southampton and New York are two of the most famous ports of the QM2, possibly the world's most famous and historic Trans-Atlantic cruise ship.

For her annual world cruise she regularly visits famous places like Australia's Sydney Harbour and Cape Town's Table Bay.

For the Celebratory 10th anniversary world voyage the QM2 will also be headed to Durban, Mauritius, Bali. Melbourne, Shanghai and Dubai, amongst others.

Take a look at the Cunard Queens captured at various ports across the globe.

A map of Cunard's Queen Mary 2 2014 World Voyage Route for her 10th anniversary cruise




2. The Entertainment and activities

The deck is an interesting place where folks relax on wooden loungers reading one of the books taken out from the largest floating library at sea or simply just catching some shut eye.

But once you've allowed the fresh air to rejuvenate you, there is plenty to do.

For the evenings there is a daily theatre act or production featuring the likes of the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts. If you're in the mood for something more contemporary, the ships planetarium doubles up as a movie theatre with a new blockbuster shown every night - and between the talks ranging from the historic to the ethereal you can be forgiven for thinking you've tapped into the fountain of knowledge during your seafaring stay.

But it doesn't end there.

Professional dancers take you through the paces of the Tango, Samba or Waltz with daily lesson in the Queens Room, while the throng of medical professionals reveal the secrets to healthy living with info session scheduled throughout the day in the Winter Garden.

Of course if it's all too much simply book yourself in for a treatment or two at the Canyon Ranch Spa. The state-of-the-art 20 000-square-foot spa and fitness centre also has a beautiful pool complex and water treatment area - in addition to the ships five other pools, including an indoor pool on Deck 11.

Not forgetting the on board casino, which sees croupiers shuffling their Blackjack and Punto Banco skills. Otherwise you can sniff and taste up a storm with the many Wine parings hosted throughout the cruise. Keep in mind that some of these activities carry an additional surcharge.

3. Outstanding White Star service

The Queen Mary can accommodate an estimated 2 800 passengers at a time and has in excess of 1 300 staff members on board at any given time. With 1 staff member catering to every 2 guests, the Queen Mary 2 prides itself on personal attention - denoting the White star service dedicated to each guest and including butler service, breakfast in bed, laundry service and even a perfectly prepared cocktail at the end of each day.

Suffice to say from the cabin attendants to the waiters and wine sommelier in the fine dining restaurants - they lived up to the expected royal standard and it's no cliche' to say the treatment on board the QM2 is fit for a queen.

A collective tip is added to your bill beforehand but the option to add something extra for those who extended themselves beyond the expected is not uncommon.
 
4. The glamour of old-school dining



The Queen Mary 2 in Monochrome - see the full gallery (Selene Brophy, News24 Travel)

There is an estimated 14 000 meals served each day and the opportunity to join the Captain for dinner is highly coveted - an experience often reserved for VIP guests and frequent travellers.

But the pomp and ceremony is not only reserved for the captain's table since a portion of the evenings spent at sea are formal evenings with themed balls being hosted in the Queens Room - The pinnacle of which is the black and white ball. Dressing for the occasion is expected and really is lots of fun since it adds to extra-ordinary atmosphere - and it wont hurt taking a ball room dancing lesson or two in the afternoon.

It truly is a mix of old-school Hollywood combined with Windsor Castle charm - so expect the full bejewelled, red-carpet experienced as professional photographers capture your every move.

Dining options on board the Queen Mary 2 include the ship's double-deck Britannia. Breakfast and lunch are open seating; passengers receive set tables and dining times (either and early or late seating) at dinner. The Princess Grill and Queens Grill feature anytime seating and menus with more flexibility. At first, access to the Queens Grill Lounge was restricted to diners in that one grill room, but after passengers assigned to the Princess Grill complained, they too were admitted.

Kings Court with its four different themed areas, including The Carvery, La Piazza, Lotus and Chef's Galley, serves as Queen Mary 2's buffet area and is open until the early hours should you feel like a snack after the late show.

There is also the signature Todd English Restaurant which offers a special dining experience - booking is essential, with an additional cost added for this dining experience.

5. Travelling aboard a floating time machine


Las Palmas Grand Canaria visited during her 2013 World Cruise. (Selene Brophy, News24 Travel)

An extended period at sea on board this regal boat is welcomed more than dreaded. Calling the QM2 home for a few days while you sail across the open seas allows you relax in the lap of luxury and be pampered by impeccable service.

She offers 3 levels of ship accommodations that determine your guestroom and dining options - another throwback to the ships history when different classes were kept separate from each other for the duration of the trip. What we did find was that since the QM2 was especially for the Southampton-New York run, it only offers American or British electrical outlets in cabins - so be sure to bring along a suitable adapter. Take a look at the various Staterooms offered on board the QM2.

But with each turn you will find some throwback to the past or landmark moment in time.

Do you have a favourite cruise line? Tell us about it in the comments section below or email us on  info@news24travel.com
Read more on:    holiday  |  lifestyle  |  travel international
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